I received a review copy via Royal Social Media
In On the Edge, by T.S. Krupa, Andy Parker is a single mom trying to balance her teenage daughter, her daughter’s budding snowboarding career, her place in her marketing firm, and relationships. Needless to say it is a full load. Andy lost her soldier husband when he was overseas in the Middle East ten years ago. Andy and Hayden Grace, her daughter, have both come to terms with the death but at times still feel the loss sharply. For Andy, she hasn’t found any man that could hold up against him, and for Hayden she wishes he could be there to see her compete in the sport they both loved. Andy has begun dating again, has very little time for him as most is taken up by her marketing job, her daughter, and a second job as a ski instructor. One day as she is going “up the mountain” for work, she is asked by her supervisor to take some V.I.P.s into the harsher backcountry. Andy begins to spend a lot of time with one of the V.I.P.s, Paul, and finds herself attracted to him but recognizing that nothing will probably come of it. Hayden continues to compete and finds herself heading out to a huge competition in Vail, Colorado. While it seems like Hayden Grace’s dreams are coming true, Andy finds herself faced with a huge decision. She is given an amazing offer to be the head of marketing of a huge company, but will have to move out to the West coast. Andy knows it is a big choice and while she mulls it over in Vail, she runs into Paul. The sweet, charming, Paul from the resort, surprisingly turns out to be the famous, talented, sport changing, snowboarder, PW. Andy is thrust into the limelight as the date of the star athlete and has to consider whether or not this is a road she and her daughter want to travel. To make things worse, her job offer has become more enhanced, but only if she will sign Paul to the label. What’s a girl to do?
I had mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I disliked how the story seemed to fill every romantic cliché. We have a focused woman, in this case Andy, who has had her heartbroken, by the death of her husband, who meets a more carefree, wealthy guy, Paul, who helps her break out of the walls she built around her and reopen herself to love. She of course has another man who is a contender for her heart, but as he is not as amazing as the main guy he is cut out of the story somehow, in this case he was a cad pretending to be single when he was actually married. Of course the main woman and man have some misunderstanding that pulls them apart, in this case Paul thought that Andy was using him to get a better job, and the two break up, leaving both heartbroken. Eventually, everything works out and both end up together. As a reader I could tell what the end was going to be like as soon as we were introduced to Paul.
However, this being said there were quite a lot about the novel that was enjoyable. When I was a child, snowboarding had just been declared a sport and added to the Olympics. For me, as someone who grew up watching snowboarding, I really enjoyed the that side of this book and how it delved into the work and training these athletes have to go through, and the sacrifices their families make to achieve their goals. I appreciated how the characters didn’t always achieve perfection immediately, had to pass over certain experiences for training, and the physical pain one goes through in the push to succeed.
I also enjoyed the character of Andy Parker, as she seemed very realistic in her approach to the changes in her life. She initially refuses to begin a relationship with Paul, because she knows that it most likely fail and as a single mother she can’t think only of her needs, but of her daughter. I also loved the way her character strove to include her late husband in every accomplishment of her daughter, making sure that they weren’t stuck in the past, while at the same time remembering and respecting. I appreciated how when Andy receives a job offer and considers moving, the author made it a process instead of having everything instantaneously fall into place.
This book did follow a standard formula of romantic fiction, which can feel redundant to those who are looking for something new and creative. However, the snowboarding theme and the way the characters were very realistic were both extremely endearing.